When it comes to Billy Bush’s role in the leaked Donald Trump tapes, Bush was in a no-win situation, according to his lawyer.
“If Billy had been passive or responded ‘Shut the [expletive] up’ to Trump, Billy would have been out of a job the next day,” Marshall Grossman, a partner at Orrick in Los Angeles, told The Hollywood Reporter on Oct. 13.
Grossman told THR that Bush was fulfilling his duties as a journalist and as an employee for NBCUniversal, it wasn’t in his best interest to challenge on the spot fellow NBC employee, Trump, who was then the host of the NBC game show, “The Apprentice.”
It’s been a tumultuous week for Bush since an Oct. 7 report by the Washington Post uncovered a 2005 lewd conversation between Trump and then-Access Hollywood host Bush. The pair can be heard making misogynistic comments about women, some of which were about Bush’s former colleague, Nancy O’Dell.
After the tape’s release, Bush issued a statement of apology, where he stated he was embarrassed by his behavior, citing immaturity. Two days later, NBC suspended Bush indefinitely from his current job at NBC’s “Today” show.
“I know we’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,”NBC Executive Noah Oppenheim wrote in a memo to staff.
“Let me be clear—there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
However, CNN Money reported that Bush will not return to the morning show. He had joined the show in May after replacing Natalie Morales, who relocated to Los Angeles to replace him on “Access.”
“He will never be on the show again,” a behind-the-scenes source at NBC told CNN.
Bush is reportedly negotiating an exit from the network.